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Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Haiti

Thank you Madam President and let me also thank our briefers.   I also want to acknowledge the participation of Ministers from Haiti and the Dominican Republic at this meeting today. 


Madam President, we meet today to discuss a further deterioration to the already devastating situation in Haiti.


Protests and subsequent civil unrest have plunged Haiti deeper into crisis, exacerbating the profound suffering of millions of Haitians.


The collapse of governance, and of law and order, has resulted in surging food prices, a lack of access to fuel, and economic collapse.


And this vulnerability is being exploited by the unchecked proliferation of gangs intent on wreaking havoc across Haitian society. They are doing this through displacement, through control and through brutal violence.


We welcome the efforts of UNODC, which we heard about today, to curtail the proliferation of weapons in Haiti which fuels and sustains violence and repression. Yet, it is clear more is necessary.


We have heard from SRSG La Lime that the use of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape and sexual slavery, as a tactic by gangs to assert control over already traumatised communities. She told us this was systematic. We condemn this unreservedly.


We also condemn in the strongest terms the killing of two journalists on 11 September. Tayson Latigue and Frantzsen Charles were reporting on the suffering of Haitians at the hand of these armed groups. Journalists in Haiti must be free to carry out their work in safety as they should be everywhere.


Those responsible for these heinous crimes must be held to account. Steps must be taken to provide urgent protections and supports to victims and survivors.


We have noted the initiative of the penholders and look forward to engaging on the draft resolutions


This deepening crisis threatens to push the already dire humanitarian situation over the edge; it seems these gangs are not content with targeting ordinary Haitians, but they also want to target those who seek to help them.


Ireland wholeheartedly condemns the threats, intimidation and direct attacks which have been perpetrated against humanitarian actors in Haiti.


These attacks violate our shared principles. They violate our shared humanity.


UN Agencies and non-governmental organisations, particularly at the local level, must never be targets.


The multifaceted crisis engulfing Haiti will only worsen without humanitarian aid and essential aid providers. The looting and burning of WFP’s warehouse in Gonaives was reprehensible – as Valerie told us, it is essentially taking food from the mouths of those most in need.


In this context, the UN Humanitarian Air Service in Haiti is more vital than ever. We call for increased support to UNHAS as it works not only to access communities in need but to relocate humanitarian workers under threat from the violence from gangs.


Violence against humanitarian actors and medical workers must immediately cease and unhindered humanitarian access must be facilitated without delay or interference. Access to food for millions in Haiti enduring severe food insecurity cannot be assured without an end to violence.


Madam President,


The time for a genuine, national dialogue is past due. The time for a restoration of governance is past overdue.


 It is only through participative dialogue that Haiti can begin to regain stability, rebuild institutions, and forge reconciliation. A political response to Haiti’s challenges led by and owned by all Haitians.


A sustainable political path to the restoration of governance in Haiti will also require the support of the international community. Ireland looks forward to returning to this table in the coming weeks, in accordance with Resolution 2645, to hear updates from the Government of Haiti on efforts towards a framework for a political process and from BINUH on their support to these efforts.


Let me be clear  - to succeed, this process must have the participation of all sections of society, including women and youth.

Madam President, above all, breaking this cycle requires political will. Ireland calls on all actors to commit to dialogue, in support of the needs and the expectations of the Haitian people.


They have waited long enough for the pace of action on a political agreement to match the urgency of their suffering. For those in political leadership to hear and heed their calls. The time is now.


Thank you, Madam President.

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